- Rabbits are given dried fodder from the trade
Even if this dry food is fed only in small quantities, it makes the digestion very susceptible, slows down the metabolism strongly and leads to digestive disturbances, fresh food incompatibilities and dental diseases. Replace the dry food with a healthy food, e.g. with “JR Farm Grainless Herbs” from the pet shop or another food that is fully declared, does not contain any “by-products” but a lot of herbs, some seeds, possibly also some dried vegetables. Completely unsuitable are dry fodder varieties with pressed/baked ingredients such as rings, pellets or lumps. You can also mix a suitable feed yourself.
- Hay is fed as staple food
Even if “hay as staple food” was very modern for a while and many veterinarians take this approach in their studies or in further training, we cannot recommend this form of nutrition after practical experience. Although these animals often have a reasonably stable digestion, as the feeding then is quite constant and even (no or hardly any feed fluctuations from fresh to dry), but then urinary tract diseases occur more often (because the feed contains hardly any water and rabbits are actually fresh food), the vitamin supply with vitamin E and carotene is not secured (deficiency diseases) and the animals have a quite slow metabolism, so that they can get digestive problems again with small things.
- Snack sticks and treats from the trade are fed.
Delicacies from the pet shop are unfortunately harmful to the health of rabbits. No matter if green rolllies, oat cushions, yoghurt drops or snack bars – these things contain ingredients that are harmful to health (e.g. sugar, honey, milk, flour, eggs, bakery by-products, by-products…). In addition, these treats are completely superfluous, because rabbits are just as happy about healthy treats. As treats you should rather offer pea flakes, oat flakes, fresh herbs (e.g. dill), banana or similar.
- The rabbits get hay and some vegetables twice a day
Such a diet puts a very uneven strain on the digestion. Fresh food is smuggled through the digestion much faster than dry food (hay), this slows down the digestion. The constant alternation of fresh and dry food leads to digestive disorders such as gas build-up, stomach overloads, strong loops, etc. In addition, the feeding of few vegetables is often unbalanced (depending on the vegetable composition) and one-sided.
- No wet green feed/fresh feed is fed
Rabbits that are used to fresh food can tolerate even wet fresh food without any problems. It is no different for the digestion than if the rabbits drink in addition to the dry fresh food from a bowl. The only difference is when the food is stored for a long time: if it is pressed and stored in the sun, it spoils much faster and can lead to digestive problems.
- The water is offered in a nipple drinker.
There are studies that prove that rabbits drink significantly more from a bowl than from a drinking trough. Therefore, it is very important to offer rabbits a bowl. Try it yourself by trying to quench your thirst with a nipple drink after exercise. You will hardly succeed, because the nipple drinker only releases drops. Due to the lower water absorption, urinary tract diseases can be caused in rabbits with a predisposition. Place the bowl in a raised position (house roof, floor, litter-free area) so that it is not soiled by litter and use a heavy earthenware bowl with an inwardly curved edge so that it is not knocked over. Also suitable are bird bowls that are attached to the grille.
- Green fodder is not made available around the clock
Rabbits are fresh food lovers and need an even, varied range of food from fresh food. In summer it is best to eat from the meadow, in winter from vegetables (cabbage, carrot green, cabbage leaves, celery, spinach…), twigs etc. supplemented by oil seeds, hay and dried herbs.
An uneven load of the digestion by green fodder breaks (in which then hay etc. is eaten) leads to digestion problems.
- Rabbits are mainly fed dry (hay, dried…)
The digestion of our house-rabbits is not aimed at dry fodder like that of its wild relatives. A dry diet gives the rabbits urinary tract diseases and digestive disorders (due to the slow metabolism). Many dry things swell up in the stomach and overload the stomach walls strongly.
- The rabbit is fed dry, because otherwise it gets diarrhoea
A rabbit that gets diarrhoea from its typical food is sick. Domestic rabbits have the same digestion as wild rabbits and it is completely unnatural for them to get digestive problems from meadow green. Often the digestion is strongly damaged by a previous wrong feeding (dry feeding or dry feed etc.) and must recover first, or it was changed over too fast. Very often, however, intestinal parasites or dental diseases are behind it. It is very important to clarify the cause of such animals and not simply to switch to a dry diet.
- Many “delicacies” are fed
Many owners mean it well and offer many “supposedly healthy” delicacies. For example pea flakes, nuts, dried vegetables, oat flakes or dried fruit. In quantities of treats (e.g. three pea flakes every two days or an apple ring twice a month) such things are harmless. If, however, they are served regularly or in larger quantities (then even once), digestive disorders such as gassing, yeast infestation, diarrhoea or constipation very often occur. Such delicacies should really remain “delicacies” and should not be fed in excess.
- Nothing is picked from nature
To stay healthy, rabbits need green fodder from outside, even contamination by dog excrement, wild animals or car exhaust fumes are clearly less harmful than if you do without natural green fodder completely. Remember: Even in bought hay and vegetables exactly these impurities are to be found, the hay and vegetables have grown also sometime in a field.